Screen Printing Magic – Transforming Promotional Apparel Into a Marketing Tool
- on Jun 08, 2023
The art of screen printing has long been used to produce a wide range of designs. From t-shirts to elaborate patterns on a variety of textiles, or even on wooden and metal surfaces, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Screen printing is also a staple of the graphic design and poster art world. With its versatility and ease of use, it is no wonder why it is still one of the most popular forms of printmaking.
Screen printing, or silkscreen printing, is a process that uses a mesh (screen) to transfer ink onto a product. The screen is covered in a stencil-like pattern with a photosensitive material known as emulsion. This emulsion is exposed to a film positive of the desired image. The emulsion is then washed off leaving only the areas that are blocked by the stencil. Ink is then pushed through these areas using a squeegee. Depending on the complexity of the artwork, multiple screens may be required for each color.
During the 1960s Pop Artist Andy Warhol embraced screen printing as an artistic technique. He used the medium to print his own works, as well as reprints of existing art. Warhol’s experimentation with the screen printing process produced some of the most memorable print images and greatly influenced the screen printing methods in the art world, as well as many of the commercial applications that are now associated with the medium.
While some artists have incorporated the use of this printmaking method into their work for its artistic potential, others use it for its practical applications. The flexibility of the process makes it ideal for creating promotional products such as t-shirts, or even more elaborate garments like dresses and coats.
When making a print, it is important to remember that screen printing requires careful calibration to ensure the passage of ink is consistent across the entire piece. Inconsistent printing can cause the image to appear patchy and splotchy. This can also cause the transition between colors to not be smooth and seamless. For this reason it is important to take the time to carefully lift and wash each screen after every printing session.
Whether working with the medium for its artistic or functional applications, it is vital that an artist uses high-quality materials to achieve the best possible results. A good quality mesh, inks and chemicals are all essential for a successful print. For example, Ulano’s Magic Mesh Prep is a ready-to-use liquid that combines the properties of a mesh degreaser, wetting agent and antistatic treatment. Its formulation allows for better application of direct emulsions on screen, which ultimately improves printed image quality. For more information about this printing technique, contact a local screen printer in Salt Lake City today.